Friday, October 15, 2010

The Founder of Home Depot Addresses the President

It is remarkable how many people are speaking up, but especially the business community, which usually likes to stay out of politics and focus on serving their customers.

This is the anchor store for many, many suburbs across America.

But, like many others who have been demonized, they have finally had enough. And why? Well, I happen to think they are worried not just about the survival of their businesses, but about the survival of America as we know it. And perhaps, like many people of good faith who took this president at his campaigning word (rather than his record), Ken Langone feels betrayed:

Although I was glad that you answered a question of mine at the Sept. 20 town-hall meeting you hosted in Washington, D.C., Mr. President, I must say that the event seemed more like a lecture than a dialogue. For more than two years the country has listened to your sharp rhetoric about how American businesses are short-changing workers, fleecing customers, cheating borrowers, and generally "driving the economy into a ditch," to borrow your oft-repeated phrase.

My question to you was why, during a time when investment and dynamism are so critical to our country, was it necessary to vilify the very people who deliver that growth? Instead of offering a straight answer, you informed me that I was part of a "reckless" group that had made "bad decisions" and now required your guidance, if only I'd stop "resisting" it.

I'm sure that kind of argument draws cheers from the partisan faithful. But to my ears it sounded patronizing. Of course, one of the chief conceits of centralized economic planning is that the planners know better than everybody else.

But there's a much deeper problem than whether I am personally irked or not.
Read on.

The president won't listen. But some will. Many Americans understand this already.

Are you listening Mr. President?

And I hope to God they come home in November.

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